Brooks is becoming a booming hub for retail, restaurants, manufacturing, and housing. But it wasn’t always this way. The early 20th century airfield turned Air Force base only started the transformation when it U.S. government ordered it closed in the mid-90s.

On June 8, the South Texas Business Partnership held a luncheon to laud Brooks still ongoing and steadfast development. Although Brooks City Base, now known as just Brooks, began in 2002, representatives of the Southside development at interstate highways 37 and 410 put that growth into numbers from 2012, a year after all military operations stopped, to 2022.

Brooks by the numbers:
  • The current population at Brooks increased from 2012 by 14.4% to 43,236.
  • Average household income in the area has increased by 28.4% to $57,424.
  • The high school graduation rate is 80.7%, a 7.6% increase from 2012.
  • Brooks poverty rate has decreased by 2.2% from 2012 to 15.6%.
  • There have been 13,250 regional jobs created at Brooks surrounding businesses.

Brooks Field to Brooks Air Force Base – 1918 to 1947

Brooks Field was established in 1918 and the School of Aviation Medicine moved to the airfield in 1927. The airfield didn’t become Brooks Air Force Base officially until 1947.

JFK in San Antonio – 1963

Brooks Air Force Base was President John F. Kennedy’s final stop during his visit to San Antonio on November 21, 1963, according to Express-News archives. He was assassinated the next day on his ill-fated Texas tour in Dallas.

Brooks Air Force Base San Antonio Texas

Brooks ordered to close – 1995

Many aerospace medicine developments happened at Brooks Air Force Base up until it was selected for closure as part of the Department of Defense’s base realignment and closure program in 1995. It was then that military operations would start winding down.

Hangar 9 Brooks San Antonio Texas

City Base concept created – 1997 to 2001

San Antonio, in partnership with Air Force, come up with the “City Base” concept in 1997. In 2001, the Brooks Development Authority was created to help oversee the redevelopment of the old air force base area. CEO Leo Gomez currently leads the organization.

Autonomous vehicles Brooks

Brooks City Base – 2002

Brooks City Base is created in 2002 kicking off years of development.

John Davenport/San Antonio Express-News

Retail moves in – 2008

The now popular City Base Landing shopping center on Southeast Military Rive officially opened in 2008.

Brooks Air Force Base closes

Military operations cease – 2011

On September 30, 2011, Brooks City Base stopped all operations for 311th Air Base Group, officially closing Brooks Air Force Base, and further paving the way for development.

Jerry Lara/San Antonio Express-News

The Landings – 2011

NRP Group, led by its late CEO Dan Markson, opened the Landings in 2012. The Brooks City Base apartments were a catalyst for BDA’s housing plans.

Medicine lives on at Brooks – 2011

Continuing the tradition of medicine at Brooks City Base, Mission Trail Baptist Hospital moved and officially opened its 110-bed, 220,000-square-foot facility in June 2011, bringing access to health and emergency room care to the Southside.

movie theater Brooks San Antonio Texas

On the big screen – 2011

What would a booming development be without some form of entertainment? In December 2011, the 10-screen City Base Cinema opened its doors.

Nissei Grand Opening at Brooks

The Manufacturing hub – 2016 to 2021

Tokyo-based Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. announced plans to build a $13 million manufacturing facility at Brooks. In 2021, Nissei announced that it would establish its regional headquarters in San Antonio.

A Czech Republic-based company would follow suit in 2018, and Cuisine Solutions would also open its $200 million, 315,000-square-foot plant in 2021.

More lodging – 2017

The six-story Embassy Suites Hotel on South New Braunfels Avenue opened in 2017 and is the only hotel, conference, and event center south of downtown, according to the Brooks timeline.

UIW opens its new School of Osteopathic Medicine in July 2017, allowing students to study osteopathy in a four-year program. The first class graduated in May 2021.

The Greenline park – 2018

Brooks converted 43 acres of green space into what is now known as The Greenline in 2018.

Culinary destination – 2018

Chef Johnny Hernandez’s La Gloria at Brooks was set for an opening date in 2018, but with delays, including the pandemic, the Southside location has only picked up steam again this year.

Housing boom – 2021

Continuing its commitment to creating more housing on the Southside, Brooks welcomed Terramark Urban Homes and its plans for a 60-home development.